Brushing it off and saying “it’s just one of those days” is a disservice to yourself. It’s a cheat out of giving yourself permission to experience real pain, real emotions, real sadness. Whether or not you understand where it’s coming from doesn’t necessarily matter- and it doesn’t make it any less.
Sometimes in a moment alone after a thread of days spent around people for extended periods of time I’ll feel a very distinct feeling of hollowness. For sanity, I require time to just be quiet and still- maybe scrolling through websites, paging through a book, or staring out the window. Although necessary and mostly tenderly enjoyable, there’s a barrenness to the space around me when instead of clattering around in the kitchen or chatter from across the room I hear only the mechanic purr of the heater and cruel tick of the clock.
In my favourite book The Virgin Suicides, after a first attempt at death, young Cecilia is asked post-slitting-of-the-wrists “What are you doing here, honey? You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.”
Her response, “Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a thirteen year old girl.”
The rain has ceased momentarily in Phnom Penh, the outside heathered, fogged as an Autumn evening in Washington- a sliver of verdant trees visible through the window.
I sit on an oversized bed, crisp white sheets with the methodic swirl of the fan above me. Shrill cries of children playing outside, putter of motos skittering across the wet ground, a sporadic mewl of the cat somewhere on the premises of the villa next door. It has been a fatigued yet sanguine past six days in the city reconnecting with the place I once called home.
Throughout the thirteen hour plane ride to Taipei, I could not stop watching the woman in front of me. Between bouts of sleep and finding myself staring at the ceiling, I would notice faintly but strongly her presence in a plane full of people. Forty years old or sixty, it was difficult to gauge. Her high, gaunt cheekbones battled against full, tanned cheeks and her hair flecked with dove grey stranded elegantly through inky black. I never quite got a strong, clear look at her eyes or mouth, only glimpses through the space between the seat and the window as I sat behind.
Watching someone you love and respect work on something passionately with focus, drive, and serious intent makes you want them to achieve the success they’re reaching for that much more. In this case it’s been one of my best friends, partner in crime, and influencer Nick Casanova.
What was it that made my brief walk home from my neighbourhood bar so unapologetically lavishly feminine and dauntless? An anomaly of exposure and tenacious durability.
There are days when it feels like everything has been flecked with rose gold and hazel and honey. They are rare and they’re when I feel my heart in my throat and even sleep deprived and synapses slow, everything feels delicious.
I feel everything so keenly and bluntly today. A grade A example of a seemingly bipolar being, sensing each moment pointedly and on each end of the spectrum. Some fill me with what feels like a hot cup of tea, filled with surprising lemon tartness and smooth honey and warmth and safety, making it difficult to breathe in a way where everything seems to skip a beat- some are ragged and painful and sharp around the edges, making it difficult to breathe and not in the lovely way where everything seems to skip a beat.